Hip-hop mogul Jay-Z continues to put his money behind funding social justice solutions. His latest endeavor is a partnership with an app co-founded by former Prince manager Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins called Promise, which aims to to reduce incarceration and recidivism in the criminal justice system.
The company describes its app’s goal as creating “a sustainable and scalable program that will reduce the number of people behind bars, recidivism and the cost of care by extending the capabilities of community supervision.” It will be open for use by both parolees and government agencies.
Promise, debuting on March 20 at Y Combinator Demo Day, will help individuals who can’t afford bail and those who are on parole to keep track of their court-mandated obligations in order to stay on the right side of the law. Per Promise’s website, the app will provide: “an individualized plan for each participant… Each participant has the Promise app on their phone and receives an intelligent calendar of their obligations (court appearances, drug testing, substance abuse treatment, etc) and adaptive reminders to help them meet these obligations. Promise also provides coordinated referrals and support based on individual needs, including job training, housing, counseling, etc. Participant progress is tracked so that clients and participants can easily view compliance and status.”
Jay-Z provided a statement of support for the app’s goal and explained his involvement. “We are increasingly alarmed by the injustice in our criminal justice system,” he said. “Money, time and lives are wasted with the current policies. It’s time for an innovative and progressive technology that offers sustainable solutions to tough problems. Promise’s team, led by Phaedra, is building an app that can help provide ‘liberty and justice for all’ to millions.”